Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rava Idli / Steamed Semolina Cake

We all love Idlis, but what if you don’t have batter in home. Here is a quick fix using semolina/rava, since this batter needs no fermentation process. Semolina/Rava Idli is a very popular south Indian breakfast dish. It is very simple to prepare and it is healthy too. Try this semolina/rava Idli in home, which will sure please you with its soft and fluffy texture.

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 45 mins

Semolina/Rava/Sooji – 1 cup
Curd – ½ cup
Carrot – ¼ cup
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Onion – ½ cup
Salt to taste
Water – ½ cup (adjust according to the batter consistency)
To temper:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp
Chana dal – ½ tsp
Curry leaves - few

1. Heat oil in non-stick skillet, Temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and chana dal. Add onions and saute till it turns translucent. Add carrots and give a good mix.
2. In a bowl, Take semolina/rava, Add curd, baking soda, salt and the carrot mixture to it. Add water little by little and form a batter.

3. Grease the idli moulds with oil and pour the batter in it. Steam for about 10 – 12 mins. Remove it and serve hot.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sunshine Toast with Tomato Salsa

Eggs and bread are one of the great breakfast dishes.  Here’s a few tricks to make a perfect sunshine toast. It is easy, delicious and healthy way to start your day. Wake up at sunshine, have sunshine toast and enjoy it.

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
For toast
Bread slices – 2
Egg – 2
Salt to taste
Pepper – 1 tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
For tomato salsa
Tomato – 1, finely chopped
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Garlic – 1 pod, minced
Cilantro – ¼ cup
Mint – ¼ cup
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Sugar a pinch

For toast:
1. Beat egg, salt, pepper in a bowl. Using a glass or cookie cutter, create a hole in the middle of the bread, remove the center piece.
2. Cook the bread on butter greased non-stick skillet. Pour the egg mixture into the center of the bread.
3. Fry it on one side and carefully flip it over. Serve warm.
For Salsa:
1.Stir all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Salmon fish Fry

Salmon fry is an easiest and healthy low fat dinner recipe. It’s dark and spicy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Try this recipe and enjoy with family.

Nutrition Facts:
All types of salmon provide a good source of high quality protein and the heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon is a good source of variety of vitamins and minerals. It is also a good source of calcium.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serving: 1 member

Salmon – Center thick piece
Paprika/Red chili powder– 1 tbsp
Garlic powder – ¼ tsp
Oregano/ Omavalli – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil – 1 tbsp

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except fish. Coat the fish with the mixed spices.
2. Refrigerate it for about 15 minutes.

3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, cook the salmon for about 5 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Healthy Baked Samosas with chana filling / Baked Triangle shaped pastry with chick peas filling

When you decided to go on diet, did you think you were saying goodbye to samosas forever? Well, guess what. It’s time to say hello again. These baked samosas are easier to make than regular samosas. It turns into something crispy, spicy and tasty too. These samosas are perfect on a rainy day. They are non-greasy and healthy too.

Nutrition Facts:
A regular fried samosa filled with potatoes contains about 308 calories. But these baked samosas contains about 130 calories.
Prep time: 45 mins + 10 hours for soaking chana/ chick peas
Cook time: 30 – 35 mins
For Pastry:
Wheat flour – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Water – ¼ cup
For Filling:
Chick peas/chana – 1 cup, soaked and boiled
Onion – 1, chopped
Red chili powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Raw Mango powder – ½ tsp
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp

1. Combine the flour, salt, cumin seeds in a bowl. Mix in the water and knead for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a skillet, saute onions until it turns translucent. Add all the spice powders, salt and saute until raw smell appears.
3. Add in boiled chick peas and give a good mix until the boiled chick peas and spices blend together.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
5. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Using your hands, form each ball in to a flat disk.  Roll the disk into a thin patty and cut the circle in half.
6. Take one of the half circle and make a cone shape starting at the center of the cut side to make the point of the cone and then overlap the edges together.
7. Put the filling in to the cone and close the cone, pressing the edges to seal it.
8. Place the samosas in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 mins. Serve.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cucumber raita/ cucumber - yogurt dip

Cool, creamy and refreshing cucumber raita is just for cooling down the spicy taste of dishes. Raita is a fresh tasting combination of yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, mint, cumin and garlic. This flavored cucumber raita packs in a load of nutrients and is good for your skin.
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins

Cucumber – 1, chopped
Yogurt – 4 tbsp
Mint leaves – few
Garlic – 1 pod, chopped
Cilantro – few
Grounded cumin – ½ tsp
Grounded pepper – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to garnish

1. In a bowl, beat the yogurt till smooth. Add the cucumber and all the dry spice powders, garlic, cilantro, mint leaves and salt.
2. Mix well and sprinkle few cayenne pepper at top. Serve.

Rajma / Red kidney beans curry

Today let us see how to make this Rajma curry. It is a traditional north Indian dish. Rajma curry is a blending of equal proportion of spices to the fresh Rajma beans. It is quite spicy too so watch out before giving to kids.
Nutritional facts:
About 1000 grams of boiled rajma beans contains 140 calories, 5.7 grams of protein, and 9.0 grams of fat and nearly 17.8 grams of carbohydrates.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serving: 4 members

For masala paste:
Big Tomatoes – 2
Garlic pods – 5
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Dry red chili – 6
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Other ingredients:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Green chili – 1, slit
Boiled Red kidney beans/ Rajma – 1 cup
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Cilantro to garnish

1. Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, dry red chilies, and coriander seeds into a blender and blend it into a smooth paste without adding water.
2. Heat oil in pan, Add the ground paste and fry till the raw smell disappears and oil leaves the sides of the masala. It will take about 8 – 9 mins.
3. Add the green chili and enough amount of water, cook for about 5 mins.
4. Now add the boiled Red kidney beans/ Rajma and give a good mix. Let them cook for about 15 mins on a low flame.
5. Now add the garam masala, salt and cook for 2- 3 mins. Switch of the flame and garnish with cilantro.
6. Spicy and delicious Rajma curry is ready.

Dinner Menu 1 - Chapatis/Indian flat bread with Rajma/Red kidney beans Curry and Flavored Cucumber Raita

Chapatis are Indian flat breads made from whole wheat flour, water, salt and oil. Making chapati is a basic recipe, however it might take some patience and little finesse, but the effort is totally worth. My first few attempts in making chapatis didn’t result in the same thin and soft chapatis that my mom prepared. Mine were hard and crispy. I learned that to have great chapati is to have great dough and then knead it a lot.
Nutrition facts:
A small, 6 inch chapatti contains 71 calories, 3 grams of protein, 0.4 gram of fat and 15 grams of carbohydrates, including 2 grams of fiber.

Prep time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Serving: 2 cups of wheat flour yields 12 medium sized chapatis
Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
Water – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

1. In a large bowl, measure out the flour and add enough salt to it.  A little warm water makes kneading easier and dough softer but room temperature works fine as well.
2. Mix the flour with your fingers adding little water at a time. First, they look like bread crumbs. A little more water and it slowly starts coming together in a moist dough.
3. Knead well with your fist and knuckles till it is soft for about 10 minutes.
4. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 1 hour. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat.
5. Tear off a piece from a dough, roll the dough around circular motion in your hands to create a ball. Roll the dough in the floor and then press the dough flat.
6. Star rolling them from inside out. As a beginner, your shapes might be everything other than round, a little practice will get you there.
7. Place chapatti on a hot skillet, within 10 seconds flip to another side. Let it cook for a minute rotting the chapatti every few seconds to ensure all the sides gets cooked evenly.
8. Once you see brown spots on both sides take it off stove. Serve hot.

Dinner menu

Rajma / Red Kidney beans Curry

Cucumber Raita/ Cucumber - Yogurt Dip

Monday, May 18, 2015

Baked Chicken Drumsticks with Grilled onions

Baked chicken drumsticks are full of flavor and easy to prepare. There are number of chicken marinade recipes, baking and grilling techniques. But did you know an easy way to get the rich flavor by just oven baking. Flavor is a mixture of traditional Indian spices like coriander powder, chili powder and cumin. Ginger and garlic added an extra flavor to the chicken. Baked chicken drumsticks is one such appetizer served in parties and family gatherings.

Prep time: 1 hour and 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 2 hours

Chicken drumsticks – 4
For Pre – marinade:
Red chili powder – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
For Main Marinade:
Yogurt – 4 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Fenugreek powder/kasurimethi - ½ tsp
Red color a pinch (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
For making Grilled Onions:
Onion – 1, chopped
Chaat masala – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

1. Clean the chicken pieces and cut 2 or 3 long slits on each piece.
2. Apply salt, chili powder and lemon juice all over the chicken and keep aside for 15 minutes.
3. Make marinade with the ingredients listed under For main marinade. Apply it all over the chicken, making sure to apply well between all the slits and keep aside for 45 mins.
4. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Cook for about 40 – 45 mins till the chicken is tender. Remove from oven
5. Heat a griddle. Place onions and cook for 2 mins. Add chicken, chaat masala and lemon juice, cook for 10 minutes. This enhances the taste of chicken even more.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nuts Cake

Nuts cake is a delicious dessert to enjoy any time of the year. It is best when served warm from the oven. The addition of cashews, almonds and walnuts give this cake a lovely texture. Just give a try and enjoy.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 – 35 mins
Total time: 1 hour and 25 mins

Eggs – 2
Sugar – ¾ cup
Vanilla essence – 1 tbsp
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Almonds, cashews, walnuts – 1 cup, coarsely grounded
Butter – 2 tbsp

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Sieve flour with baking powder and set aside. Butter a baking pan and dust it with flour on all sides.
3. In a bowl, add butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla essence, beat till they get creamy.
4. Add flour and mix well. Pour this to the baking pan and bake it for 30 – 35 mins.

5. Insert a tooth pick to see whether it comes out clean. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Creamy Chicken Gravy without Oil, Onion and Tomato

Today I am going to share a different style of chicken gravy which my family felt very tasty. Only three steps to prepare this simple gravy. The catchy part is we don’t need basic ingredients like oil, tomato and onion, so it can be prepared with very minimal ingredients.  A simple chicken gravy, but low in fat and high in taste.
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 1 hour and 20 mins

Chicken breast piece – 3, cut into small cubes
Cilantro to garnish
To Marinate:
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Thick Yogurt/curd – 3 tbsp
To Grind:
Dry red chilies – 5
Garlic pods – 4

1. Marinate the chicken with ingredients under “To Marinate” and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet, add the thick gravy of marinated chicken and cook for about 10 minutes. Grind the dry red chilies and garlic to a paste and add to the chicken gravy.

3. Add some water and close the lid, cook for about 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Delicious creamy chicken gravy is ready.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fish fried with green masala

Fish fry is always easy to prepare and good for your waistline. Today, for a change I experimented a different flavor in fish fry. I marinated the fish with green masala which gave a good color and also a different delicious flavor.
Nutrition Facts:
Fish is low in sodium and saturated fat. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Phosphorus and it is a very good source of Protein, Niacin and selenium. They are the excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to our diet.
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 40 mins

Fish – 2 pieces (I used Tilapia)
Cilantro – 1 small bunch
Mint leaves – 1 small bunch
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Green chilies – 3
Garlic pods – 3
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

1. Grind all the spices except oil and fish with small amount of water.
2. Marinate the fish with the grounded spices and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

3. Heat oil in a skillet and fry the fish till it turns golden brown on both sides, it takes about 15 minutes. Delicious fish fry is ready.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookie is a sweet treat to our taste buds. Chocolate chip cookie is a made with butter and a combination of white sugars and brown sugars, it produces a rich and chewy cookie with caramelized edges. Flavors of vanilla and chocolate blend together to make a wonderful combination in chocolate chip cookies. The fresh baked taste will leave you wanting more.

Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins

Butter – ½ cup
White sugar – ½ cup
Brown sugar – ½ cup
Vanilla pudding mix – 1 tbsp
Milk – ¼ cup
All purpose flour – 2 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips – ¼ cup
Walnuts – ¼ cup

1. In a bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until fluffy.
2. Add the vanilla mix and milk and beat well until they combine well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
3. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts about halfway through mixing. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.

4. For large cookies, take about 2 tbsp of dough and shape into a cookie. Place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake about 25 – 30 mins until golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on wire rack.